(CTN NEWS) – Hoover Police in the city of Hoover no longer believe that Carlee Russell was kidnapped last Thursday, despite initial reports of a toddler seen walking along the motorway.
During a 30-minute press conference on Wednesday, Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis presented fresh evidence challenging Russell’s claim of abduction.
Chief Derzis stated that he does not believe a crime took place and pointed to recent Google searches found on Russell’s mobile device in the days leading up to her disappearance.
The searches included phrases like “How to steal money from a register without getting caught,” “one-way bus ticket from Birmingham to Nashville,” “Amber Alert information,” and the movie “Taken,” which centers around an international kidnapping.
The investigation is still ongoing, but Chief Derzis emphasized the importance of sharing the facts uncovered due to public interest and concern.
He highlighted the unusual nature of Russell’s Google searches on the day of the alleged kidnapping, particularly the search for a movie about abduction like “Taken.”
As of now, Carlee Russell is facing accusations comparable to the situation involving Jussie Smollett.
Hoover Authorities Detail Investigation into Carlee Russell’s Disappearance
Mayor Frank Brocato and Hoover Police Capt. Keith Czeskleba stood alongside Chief Nick Derzis as he detailed the investigation into Carlee Russell’s disappearance.
They gathered information from various sources, including the 911 call made by Russell to report a young, white toddler wandering along the motorway.
Camera footage revealed that Russell’s car had rolled approximately 600 yards on the motorway shoulder before coming to a stop.
During the 911 call, the dispatcher asked Russell to keep an eye on the child. Chief Derzis mentioned that Russell’s call was the only one reporting a child on the interstate.
However, he expressed skepticism about the idea of a barefoot toddler traveling such a distance without crying or venturing into the road.
Further details emerged during the investigation, indicating that Russell had made a stop at Target before her disappearance, purchasing granola bars and Cheez-It snacks.
Additionally, she allegedly took a bathrobe and toilet paper from her spa job, but these items were not found when officers located her car.
In the one interview Russell had with the police, she claimed that upon stepping out of her car to check on the toddler, she was seized by a white male with orange hair.
He allegedly forced her to cross a nearby fence and get into a car, eventually finding herself inside the trailer of an 18-wheeler truck with a female accomplice.
As the investigation continues, authorities are piecing together the events surrounding Carlee Russell’s disappearance to uncover the truth behind the incident.
Carlee Russell Admits Escaping Captors Twice, Raises Doubts as Investigation Unfolds in Hoover
Carlee Russell confessed to escaping from her captors on two occasions. She revealed that initially, she was apprehended and taken to a chamber where she was given cheese crackers.
Later, she managed to escape again while inside a car and fled through the woods to her house in the western area of Hoover.
The police chief reiterated the department’s desire to speak with Russell once more to gain a better understanding of what happened.
However, her family claims that she is not mentally capable of speaking at this time. They stated that they will cooperate with the authorities once she is prepared to speak.
Before the press conference, former criminal defense attorney and civil litigator Eric Guster of Birmingham expressed doubts about the story. He initially had concerns about the incident and eventually concluded that it was a fraud.
Guster believes that charges may be brought against Russell soon. He anticipates a substantial amount of evidence to show how she fabricated the story, in an effort to demonstrate Hoover as a safe community.
Hoover is an affluent suburb with a population of around 92,000 people, consisting of approximately 70% white and 19% Black residents.
The neighborhood has experienced strained racial relations, particularly after the 2018 police killing of Emantic Bradford Jr., a 21-year-old Black man.
Given the community’s sensitivity towards attacks on the police department, Guster believes they will handle this case severely.
RELATED CTN NEWS: